Planning for the future. (Day 123, Year 3)

Friends, as I write this I have taken to my bed in a state of despair and exhaustion. Today, the middle school had the utter audacity, impudence, insolence and recklessness to send me an email requesting that I send in a baby picture of my forever baby girl for her 8th grade graduation. 

Friends, this cannot be. THIS CANNOT BE. 

But, alas, it is. 

So, I am in bed because I am processing that my middle child isn't the only one who is growing up (my oldest is a high school junior; my son is a 4th grader; next year will be an emotional shit show of moving up and on!). I am also partially (well totally) exhausted from the things that happen before 8:40 am and after 3pm with these children who NEED EVERYTHING ALWAYS.

Even with their demanding naturing, I cannot imagine them not demanding things of me! If they don't ask me, will they do it themselves (I doubt it!) or will they have a staff (one of them has to strike it rich!). 

I have no idea how I will ever fill the hours once these children leave me and go have their own fabulous life. I need to have a plan, lest I become addicted to the Price is Right (is this still on?) or stop wearing mascara because no one has seen me in months. 

I started my plan this morning while listening to researchers discuss breakthroughs in research and talk about amplification and compounds. I think their use of big words and motivation to do something ENORMOUS like cure child cancer really inspired me to plan for my future!

Here's what I am thinking:

Ten to twelve hours a day will be spent depressed, napping/sleeping, stalking my children on "Find My Friends," texting my children, FaceTiming them and showing up unannounced with a phone charger and a snack, like I do now (when requested via text message at 10 am when I am in the midst of being professional!). 

This will leave at least 12 hours a day to fill and I certainly do not want to fill that time with pedestrian things like "work" or "home organization" or "sitting in silence and eating meals with my now senior citizen husband." And I imagine my friends with similarly aged children will have their own stalking/depression schedule and some might even believe "life begins with an empty nest" or some such new age garbage, so they won't be available to entertain me or go on field trips to Wild West City! 

My husband, despite his then advanced age will continue to work (we need a steady income, health insurance and Marriott Points) and I will, of course, continue writing (but this happens in large dark periods of intense creative time that need to be followed with fun!). 

It was at this point in the process that I actually turned to my mother to ask her if she would consider a variety of field trips to Wild West City and other fun locations like the Penny Slots and the Four Seasons Spa (I have eclectic tastes!). She said she'd give me 1 hour a day and then she wanted to have time to watch The Price is Right (which is still on and in the morning, so I guess we start our fun at dawn?). 

This leaves 11 hours! And I was stumped. BUT then I remembered Molly! (Hi Molly!) Molly is my neighbor who has said she'll retire someday and when she retires she will care for the neighborhood children. She did not say this in these exact words. Like she never said "will care for the neighborhood children." I just assumed so because I will not care for the neighborhood children (I am busy stalking my own children who have abandoned me). Anyway, I realized that she will have free time and can entertain me!

So I texted her and now she is officially my Ladykeeper/Empty Nest Nanny. Hopefully she likes tubing on dangerous rivers, riding rollercoasters, going to art museums, sitting silently while I am interviewing researchers in the hot car over Zoom and eating large seafood meals on a weekday! Otherwise, she might try to quit and THEN WHAT WILL I DO?